I wrote and posted this on facebook following election day on November 9, 2016, and am reposting here for permanency.
At 5:30 am I woke up after forcing myself to sleep and found out that in the greatest show of white supremacy in decades, Donald Trump won the presidency.
At 9:44 AM I was told that my great uncle Kearney had died. He hadn’t been feeling well but insisted on voting yesterday before going to the doctor because he knew what was at stake. He was 9 years old the last time this country made the mistake of allowing The Presidency, House, and Senate to be republican run -meaning he lived through the depression, Jim Crow, and all the horrors that followed – and he spent the last morning of his life in this country having had Donald Trump elected president by the progeny of the very people that oppressed him from birth. He passed away shortly after the election results came in, and I do not count that as a coincidence.
There is no word, no explanation, no way in existence to quantify the feeling in my soul. He died watching the experiences in his life come full circle. My heart cries out for him. He deserved better. So much better.
He deserved better than all the people that let their “crazy” “outlier” racist, fascist, misogynistic family members, friends, classmates, co-workers, etc slide because they’re “not the norm” and it’s “not worth wasting your breath”. If they’re not the norm why do we ALL know one? Let’s be real it’s more than one, that electoral map and this new president prove it.
He deserved better than white fragility being allowed to take precedence over everything for so long. It being the only reason Donald Trump’s campaign could succeed. He ran on fear and apparently nothing is more powerful than the rage incited in pitiful white men by fear of losing control. Read a history book. These people are led completely by fear, and fear is a SHIT leader because it’s job is to blind and force a reaction. One which is often to hold on as tightly as possible to what you know and violently reject anything unfamiliar. People acting in fear will protect anything known to them, even if it poisons their system, because the alternative of facing and moving beyond fear means loss and change. If you have the privilege not to face that, why would you? We gave those red people in those red states the privilege to hold on to their poison every day in this country with every silent response to their ignorance. With all those glib eye rolls and jokes about the middle of the country not really mattering, plus they’ll be wiped out by tornadoes anyway. No no, they are the tornado.
We deserve better as a country home to over 5 million Jews than Donald Trump as president on November 9, 2016, 78 years to the day that the nazis launched Kristallnacht. Yes. Sit with that.
Sit with all of this. Sit and sit and sit. Then when you sit with these people over your holiday meals in the next few weeks get over your anger, get over your fear, GET OVER IT. Then open your mouth to do something other than put turkey and stuffing in it. Keep opening your mouth for the next four years and beyond so that one day I, along with every other person of color, immigrant, woman and disabled, non-hetero, and/or non-binary person don’t have to be terrified to open the front door and walk outside because we just watched our country vote against our safety in real time.
He deserved a better last day than this, and we deserve a better future.